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Finding Aids >> MUM00417

Finding Aid for the Southern Humor Collection (MUM00417)

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The Southern Humor Collection is open for research.

Finding Aid for the Southern Humor Collection

Descriptive Summary

Title: Southern Humor Collection
Dates: circa 1950s-1980s
Collector: Wood, Richard C.
Physical Extent: 3 Paige boxes (3.0 linear feet)
Repository: University of Mississippi. Department of Archives and Special Collections. University, MS 38677, USA
Identification: MUM00417
Location: General Special Collections
Language of Material: English
Abstract: The collection chiefly contains research material on the subject of American humorous writing, particularly Southern and Southwestern humor.

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information

Donated by Richard C. Wood, 1994

Processing Information

Collection processed by Kathryn Michaelis, June 2012. Finding aid encoded by Kathryn Michaelis, June 2012.


No further additions are expected to this collection.

Subject Terms

Humorists, American
Humor in literature
Local color in literature
Southern States -- In literature


research notes
clippings (information artifacts)
journals (periodicals)
papers (document genres)

Biographical Note

Richard C. Wood is Emeritus Professor of English at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn.

Scope and Content Note

The collection chiefly contains research notes made by Richard C. Wood in his study of humor in American literature. Wood's research focused largely on regional humor, chiefly of the Southeast and the Southwest, and the authors who wrote in that genre.

There is some material related to William T. Porter and his weekly newspaper Spirit of the Times, first published in 1831.

The collection also contains miscellaneous periodicals and issues of journals.

User Information

Preferred Citation

Southern Humor Collection, Archives and Special Collections, J.D. Williams Library, The University of Mississippi

Access Restrictions

The Southern Humor Collection is open for research.

Copyright Restrictions

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement.

Separated Material

The following books have been removed from this collection for cataloging. They can be located using the library's online catalog:

Bill Arp So Called A Side Show of the Southern Side of the War illustrated by M.A. Sullivan. New York: Metropolitan Record Office, 1866

Only in America by Harry Golden, foreword by Carl Sandburg. New York: Permabooks, 1959

Josh Billings by David B. Kesterson. New York: Twayne, 1973

The Smiling Phoenix: Southern Humor from 1965 to 1914 by Wade Hall. Gainesville, Fla.: University of Florida Press, 1965

William T. Porter and the Spirit of the Times by Norris Wilson Yates. Baton Rouge, La.: Louisiana State University Press, 1957

Louisiana Swamp Doctor: The Life and Writings of Henry Clay Lewis by John Q. Anderson. Baton Rouge, La.: Louisiana State University Press, 1962

Georgia Dialect by William T. Thompson. New York: D. Appleton & Company, 1872

Thomas Bangs Thorpe: Humorist of the Old Southwest by Milton Rickels. Baton Rouge, La.: Louisiana State University Press, 1962

A Bibliographical Guide to the Study of Southern Literature. Louis D. Rubin Jr., ed. Baton Rouge, La.: Louisiana State University Press, 1969

The Arkansaw Bear by Albert Bigelow Paine. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1925

Major Jones's Scenes in Georgia. Philadelphia: T.B. Peterson and Brothers, 1843

Pete Whetstone of Devil's Fork: Letters to the Spirit of the Times by Charles F.M. Noland. Van Buren, Ark.: The Press-Argus, 1957


The original order of the collection has been largely preserved.

Folder titles are those supplied by the donor unless otherwise indicated.

Container List

1.1 Avery 2 Harp of 1000 Sts
1.2 Writers - Misc.
1.3 Baldwin
Scope: Augustus Baldwin Longstreet
1.4 Candidate
Scope: Robert Munford's The Candidates
1.5 Crockett
1.6 Jack Downing
1.7 Notes on William T. Porter
Scope: Previously unfoldered
1.8 Notes and writings on Southern literature
Scope: Previously unfoldered
1.9-1.13 Miscellaneous notes and writings
Scope: Previously unfoldered
1.14 Notecards
1.15 Research paper on the techniques of literary humorists
Scope: Probably written by Wood, but no author named
1.16 Sol Smith
1.17 Geniality I
1.18 Satire II
1.19 III Essay
1.20 Pictorialism Melodrama IV
1.21 Critical Discipline Stauffer in Shipley
1.22 Outline - plans
Scope: Apparently for a dissertation
1.23 Introduction
Scope: Apparently for a dissertation
1.24 Humor - Ridicule 4
1.25 Material for Previous Chapters
1.26 Burlesque of Romanticism
1.27 Brief Critical Reviews to show critical criteria, values
1.28 Form Miller 7
Scope: Notes on Perry Miller's The Raven and the Whale
1.29 Blair's History/Budd
1.30 No title supplied
Scope: Draft or multiple drafts of an essay that begins "Humor as shown in books, says Hazlitt..."
1.31 Bibliog. of [illegible] works
1.32 Bibliography of Humor, Travels, etc.
1.33 Research paper: "The Ballad and Romantic Poetry: A Critical Survey"
Scope: Previously unfoldered
1.34 Thompson Major Jones
1.35 Thorpe
1.36 Prentice Miller R.M. Johnston & W.H. Browne "Historical Sketch of Erg[?] Lit From Earliest Time," 1873
1.37 Hooper Simon Suggs
1.38 Lieber Character of a Gentleman S.Q.R.
1.39 Jacksoniana
1.40 Humanities
1.41 More N. of Arkansas
1.42 Form 6
2.1 Folklore
2.2 Genre Painting
2.3 Art and Lit - Caricature, etc.
2.4 Hood & Southern Punch
2.5 Sporting Trad[ition], American - Porter
2.6 Sporting collection
2.7 Aesthetics
2.8 Harris Sut
Scope: Sut Lovingood
2.9 Drake - Tales from Queen City (Cincinnati)
2.10 Cobb Miss[ississippi] Scenes
2.11 Humorists Late & Post Bellum
2.12 Field Drama in Pokerville
2.13 Hoole on Hooper
2.14 Style - General
2.15 Whipple
2.16 Rhetoricians - Gregory, Dr. Brown, Kames, Blair, [illegible]
2.17 Theories of Frontier latter day
2.18 Ole S'West Hist. data (Simms on Matthews)
2.19 Clark - Rampaging
2.20 Smith, Chas Bill Arp
2.21 Simms - 2 pieces
2.22 Mrs. Royall - Humor
2.23 Robb - Character types, etc.
2.24 Polly Peablossom - Burke
2.25 Porter
2.26 Kups of Kauphy
2.27 Non-literary examples: Frontier life
2.28 Meek
2.29 South: Ideology Politics
2.30 West: Ideology
2.31 [Folder number not used]
2.32 Characters - Penrod
2.33 Simms - Letters
2.34 From Spirit of the Times
2.35 Criticism - Simms, Jones, Watterson
2.36 Weems
2.37 Hist. Background
2.38 South: Politics & Class
2.39 Class Structure: General, Yeoman, Gentleman
2.40 Lewis - Swamp Dr.
2.41 Sporting Eng.
2.42 Comic Bkgr.
2.43 Journalistic History & Humor Am
2.44 Views of Society by Travelers by Decades
2.45 Dickens & Thackeray
2.46 Miscellaneous material, previously unfoldered
2.47 Miscellaneous material, previously unfoldered
3.1 Copies of writing from Spirit of the Times
3.2 Copies of writing from Spirit of the Times
3.3 Copies of writing from Spirit of the Times
3.4 Binder 1: Draft of paper on 19th-century Southern humor stories
Scope: The contents of folders 3.4 through 3.7 were taken from two dismantled binders.
3.5 Binder 1: Loose materials
3.6 Binder 2: Loose materials
3.7 Binder 2: Draft of Southern humor paper (possibly same as in Binder 1)
3.8 Style: Writers quoted
3.9 Writers' view of [illegible]
3.10 Nature 4
3.11 Definition of terms - Humor etc. Shipley
3.12 Clippings
3.13 Student papers
Restrictions: Restricted
3.14 Miscellaneous material, previously unfoldered
Box 3 Publications and Periodicals (unfoldered):
American Literature, Vol. 27, No. 3, November 1955
The Lovingood Papers, 1962
The Lovingood Papers, 1963
The Lovingood Papers, 1964
The Lovingood Papers, 1965
The Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 25, No. 3, Autumn 1966
The Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 25, No. 2, Summer 1966
The Randolph-Macon College Magazine, Vol. 35, No. 1, March 1964
Mid-America Folklore, Vol. 13, No. 1, Winter-Spring 1985
Southwestern Journal, Vol. 5, Spring 1977
The Georgia Review, Vol. 9, No. 2, Summer 1955
American Speech: A Quarterly of Linguistic Usage, Vol. 40, No. 3, October 1965
American Speech: A Quarterly of Linguistic Usage, Vol. 40, No. 1, February 1965
American Quarterly, Vol. 18, No. 2 Part 2, Summer 1966
Journal of American Folklore, Vol. 83, No. 328, April-June 1970
Yale Alumni Magazine, May 1973
The New York Times Book Review, 27 February 1994
Arkansas Folklore: A Publication of the Arkansas Folklore Society, Vol. 4, No. 1, 15 August 1953
Johns Hopkins Magazine, January 1976
"The American Humorists"
Scope: Description and order form from The Gregg Press
Touchstone: The Magazine of the Tennessee Humanities Council, No. 16, 1990